... the day we went to Slaithwaite?! The weekend before last I was up in Yorkshire at Spa Mill, Slaithwaite; home of Stylecraft yarns. Some of the Blogstars went on a guided tour around Salts Mill on Friday afternoon to look at the David Hockney exhibition. It looked amazing and I wish that I had been able to go too. Pesky day job! I arrived later that day and was able to enjoy the breathtaking views from the hotel. Did I mention before that the hotel has a helicopter landing space? Rather impressive. I wonder if it ever gets used?!
That evening, we all met up in the bar, each of us with our current knitting or crochet project in tow. It's so nice to be able to spend time with people who don't bat an eyelid when you start knitting. And of course, we carried on crafting between courses at the dinner table.
|From left to right- Juliet Bernard, Annabelle Hill, Sarah Shrimpton, Heather Leal, Lucia Dunn and Catherine Bligh|
|From left to right - Edward (Catherine's brother), Sandra Paul, Kathryn Senior and Phil Saul|
|Clockwise from the left - Sandra, Kathryn, Phil, me, Juliet, Annabelle, Sarah, Heather, Lucia and Catherine|
Before I went to bed, I spent an hour making yarn pegs as you do! Lucy from Attic24 had been at the art exhibition in the afternoon and had very kindly sent me samples of all the colours I was missing in the Special DK range - how lovely was that?! My little yarn pegs are such a delight to me and are really useful when it comes to planning colour schemes.
The next morning, we headed down to the Mill where first of all we chatted and caught up with each others' goings on, before sitting down to a presentation of all the new things that Stylecraft has in the pipeline for the coming season. I can't reveal too much yet, but let me just say that there are some seriously gorgeous yarns heading into the shops. There are a few new yarns that have just been released though...
Tweedy is a new DK weight yarn made up of 74% premium acrylic and 26% cotton in four lovely colourways. We saw some garments made up in the yarn and they did look good. I rather like the bluey-green one on the right.
Three, yes three! new colours in the gorgeous Head over Heels sock yarn. I say sock yarn, but it could equally well be used for shawls and cowls as the wool is really soft. I am a total sucker for self-striping sock yarns and the Head over Heels socks I've knit so far have washed and worn very well. Can't wait to cast one of these on!
And finally, four new colours in the Batik yarn range. From left to right, silver, lupin, mint and rose. I really love the soft, colourwashed look of this yarn. You might remember that I used some last year to make a scarf when Batik was first launched. I'm already thinking how nice another scarf would look in more muted shades - you can never have enough scarfs in my opinion!
And just look at how gorgeous all the colours look together. I want to start playing with them NOW!
We were joined by Emma Varnam and Julia Marsh on Saturday morning as well as the overseas Blogstars Angela, Zelna, Polly Plum, and Anne and Michelle through the wonders of technology. Sadly Jane Crowfoot and Lucy from Attic24 weren't able to be with us and we missed them.
Over a tea break, we were able to look more closely at the new yarns and some of the designs because there was a huge display set up ready for the the following day (more of this later) and we also got to admire some of Lucia's beautiful blankets that she'd brought along with her. Annabelle took the laptop with her so that our friends on Skype could see everything too!
Then, every yarn lover's dream, we got to play with all the colours of Stylecraft Special DK! I can't reveal too much at the moment, but you will get to find out about it later in the year. Needless to say, it was tremendous fun picking out different colour combinations.
After lunch, we were lucky enough to have a visit from a member of the Ring of Tatters who taught us the basics. We were all given a starter kit and DVD to take home with us too. There were lots of beautiful examples to inspire us ...
I didn't find it very instinctive and had to concentrate pretty hard, but Kathryn was a real whizz and had the basics mastered very quickly.
Before people started heading off for home, we had a group photo taken...
From the left, Heather, Sarah, Phil, Lucia, me, Sandra, Kathryn, Emma, Julia and Catherine in the front. It really was an absolute pleasure to spend time with this wonderful group of creative people and I can't wait for our next meet up! We all left laden with bags of yarn to play with - my mind was buzzing with ideas and I'm sure it was the same for everyone!
But that wasn't the end of the weekend for me! Lucia and I had been asked to stay on for another day as Stylecraft were holding their first day for Retailers at the Mill. So I set up a display of my knitting designs next to Lucia's blankets.
It was an odd but proud moment when I saw a giant poster of my Foothold socks that I designed for Stylecraft earlier this year.
The retailers were given a tour of the Mill, and also got to watch the same presentation that we'd seen the day before showing all the new yarns and designs for the coming season. It was great to talk with them about our role as Blogstars and we met some lovely people. I was amazed by how far some people had travelled but I think they had a worthwhile trip. All too soon it was over and I returned home, high on yarn fumes! xxx